The late actor opened up about losing his partner to Aids.
The Channel 4 documentary George Michael: Outed follows the singer’s journey after being jailed for a ‘lewd act’ in Los Angeles and how his heroic response created a watershed moment for the LGBT+ community.
George Michael, an inspiration to many, had gone through a very terrible period in his life before to coming out, which he later chronicled in what would become his final project, George Michael: Freedom – the 90-minute documentary he was working on in the days before he died in 2016.
Coincidentally, the holiday season had always been a bittersweet time for him since he linked it with the deaths of two of the most influential persons in his life – his mother and his first love, who died within five years of one another.
In the TV interview, George opened out about this adamant time, recalling how the deaths of Anselmo Feleppa and his mother, Lesley Angold Panayiotou, affected him.
He admitted to feeling ” From the day I found out about my relationship to the day I could claim I was on the mend from my mother, it was just constant fear,” the former Wham! Singer stated. It was either death or the subsequent grief that terrified them. I’d never experienced such sadness. It was the darkest period of my life.”
George remembered waiting in the UK for the result of fashion designer Anselmo’s Aids diagnosis in LA on Christmas Day 1991 as the “darkest, most scary time in my life,” all the while keeping their connection a secret from the world and their families.
“I sat at the Christmas table, unsure whether my partner, whom the people around the table were unaware of… not knowing if the man I loved was terminally ill, and hence not knowing if I was potentially sick terminally, “He stated.
George and Anselmo initially met at the Rock in Rio performance in January 1991, and their chemistry was instant. “In front of 160,000 people, there was this guy over on the right-hand side of the stage who just fixed me with this glare,” George explained to the Mirror.
“He was adorable. I stayed away from that area because I was so intrigued by him that I believed I’d become distracted and forget the words. einsteinerupload of.”
Anselmo took ill with the flu a few months into their relationship and was urged to take an HIV test while staying at the star’s house in Los Angeles. “I remember looking up into the sky and thinking to myself, ‘Don’t you dare do this to me!’” George disclosed.
Freddie Mercury, George’s friend, died of bronchial pneumonia, a result of his Aids battle, around the same time. “Within, I simply wanted to die. I was overcome with emotion as I sang the songs of this man I had worshiped as a youngster, who had died in the same fashion that my first living partner was about to”. Anselmo died less than a year later, in March 1993.
While the star was still mourning the death of his first love, he endured further heartbreak in 1996 when his mother was told her cancer was terminal, and she was allowed to spend one final Christmas with her family.
“After my mother died, I was spiritually devastated. I was crushed and felt like the gods had chosen me. She was amazing for the majority of my adult life. Terrible, horrible loss,” George said of losing his mother to the illness months later in February 1997.
“I’d never experienced such sadness. It was not the same as grieving. On top of grief, I was still grieving for my mother, but it was something else. It was the darkest period of my life.”